Alumna named university government relations director
Lindsay Anderson, a former high-ranking legislative adviser in the state capital, has been appointed executive director for governmental relations for the University of Illinois.
Anderson, a graduate of the Urbana-Champaign campus, begins her duties March 1. Her appointment will be considered by the Board of Trustees at its March 16 meeting in Urbana.
She will report to the president and direct the Office of Governmental Relations, which serves as the university’s liaison to state and federal legislators and agencies, local officials and key higher education associations. The office advocates for the university’s interests in Springfield and Washington, including state funding to support students and academic programs on its three campuses and federal grants for university research.
“Her first-hand knowledge of university issues and years of legislative experience will serve us well as we continue to ramp up advocacy efforts to support our students, our world-class academic and research programs, and our crucial role in driving progress and economic growth,” University President Timothy Killeen said.
Anderson is currently an attorney with Chicago-based McGuire Woods, where her duties include advising clients on working with government.
She rejoined the law firm in 2013, after four years as legislative director and later senior advisor in the administration of former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. In those roles, she advised the governor and state agencies on legislation, working closely with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and also oversaw the Governor’s Office of Federal Relations.
Anderson worked as an attorney and assistant vice president for McGuire Woods before joining the governor’s office. Earlier, she was assistant counsel in the office of House Speaker Michael Madigan and a mayoral fellow in the office of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Since 2013, Anderson also has chaired the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the State Universities Retirement System. She was appointed to the boards by Quinn and has continued to serve on both under Gov. Bruce Rauner; she will resign from both before joining the university.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Urbana-Champaign campus in 2001 and a law degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2005. In 2015, she was an Edgar Fellow, an executive leadership training program developed by former Gov. Jim Edgar and the U of I Institute of Government and Public Affairs.
Anderson replaces Katherine “Kappy” Laing, who retired in 2014. Two veteran staffers have led operations during the interim, with Jennifer Creasey as interim director of state relations and Melissa Hass as interim director of federal relations, heading an office that opened five years ago in Washington, D.C.